From the war-torn skies over Europe to the empty expanses of the Pacific, pilots were the vanguard of the American military machine during the dark days of World War II. Discover their experiences as numerous eyewitness accounts explore the terror, adrenalin and courage which defined aerial combat. Focusing on four elite fighter units across both the European and Pacific theaters of operations, readers gain a unique insight into the battles against Germany and Japan.
The book opens with the experience of 354th Fighter Group, the first fighter pilots to receive the legendary Mustang fighter, enabling them to finally take up the fight against the German Reich. Continuing the focus on the European Theater of Operations is the story of the 332nd Fighter Group - the Tuskegee Airmen - the only all-black unit of the airforce, revealing how they rose above discrimination to be feared by their enemies and revered by their colleagues.
The action then switches to the Pacific, where the crack 475th Fighter Group included amongst its ranks the highest scoring American pilots, the legendary Dick Bong and Tom McGuire. The book concludes with the story of the pilots based on Iwo Jima who risked their lives to fly hundreds of miles across the Pacific, with no hope of rescue, in order to attack the heavily defended Japanese mainland. Those who survived earned themselves membership of a unique society - the 'Tokyo Club'. In this moving and enthralling account, we pay tribute to these ordinary men who became extraordinary American heroes.